Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Disparity Between Rich and Poor

Much has been made of the increasing disparity between the rich and poor in the United States, but I haven't really understood why it's happening or why something needs to be done about it. Thinking about this today, I wondered what factors have contributed to it. Here's what I came up with:

1.) Most immigrants arrive in the US penniless. This is the zero point of American poverty. As long as there are immigrants looking for better opportunities for themselves and their children, there will be poor people in the US.
2.) Upon arrival, first-generation Americans have to work very hard to accumulate wealth to the point of financial security, but because of their income level (and many times a higher-than-average number of children), they often have little or nothing to give their children to help them go to college or purchase cars or houses.
3.) The children are still better off than their parents. Because of a higher education level, a good work ethic learned from their parents and mastery of the English language, second-generation Americans can land better jobs than their parents did. They can earn more money and afford a higher standard of living. (Some may go to community colleges with government assistance and earn Associates' degrees or even better.)
4.) The children of second-generation Americans are completely assimilated. They've adopted American customs and dress, and don't speak with a noticeable accent. By working hard and making good financial and behavioral decisions, they can go to college and land salaried jobs they can retire from. They may even have a sizable inheritance they can pass down to the next generation.
5.) Once a family is able to pass family money from generation to generation, they can grow quite wealthy in just a few generations.

This is probably a typical scenario. Of course the kinds of jobs people have, the number of people a single income supports, their behavioral tendencies, and the social circles they are affiliated with can accelerate or break the cycle. The American custom of dual-incomes and fewer children has probably contributed much to the recent increase in the disparity between rich and poor. Remember the zero point stays the same: first generation Americans will almost always be poor, whether they are Irish immigrants in the 1900's or Mexicans in the 2000's. The only thing that changes is the how long a family has been in the US. My theory is that disparity between rich and poor comes not from racism or class warfare, but from the increased opportunities American people have created for their families over time.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Lesson of Joe the Plumber

Obama assures us that tax hikes on the upper ($250K+) class won't affect normal $30-50K/yr average folks, which underscores a fundamental misunderstanding about how the economy works. There are many reasons why raising taxes on anybody while a recession looms is a bad idea, but increasing taxes on the job-creating class now is especially foolhardy. $250K+ people routinely support entire families on their discretionary income alone, something many of them will be cutting back on during impending hard times.

If you make a living in one of these industries, you should consider voting for someone other than Obama: general contracting or remodeling (plumbing, electrician, roofing, siding, carpeting, painting, etc.); home building; custom cabinet and furniture making; landscaping; clothier, haberdasher, dressmaker, eyewear or other fashion clothing manufacturer or boutique; professional photography; professional musician; fine artist or fine art gallery; luxury car sales and service; custom auto body shop or auto restoration; RV, boat or ATV sales; private education; gourmet food and drink; baker, chef or restauranteur; antiques and collectibles; consumer electronics; travel and tourism, including museums, aquariums, amusement parks and ticketed festivals; plastic surgery, cosmetic dentistry and other elective medical procedures; jewelry; real estate; financial planning, investment and venture capitalism; non-profit, religious and benevolent organizations; organic farming and grocery; high-quality musical instruments; high-quality sporting goods; ticketed events such as professional sports and concerts; event planning and DJ services; interior designer or decorator...

Get the picture? Pretty much any goods and services the average person cannot afford or has to put away money for will be affected. And these are industries that employ many average middle-class people. Obama wants to use the tax code to redistribute the wealth of the upper class amongst the middle and lower classes, but he forgets that the upper class redistributes their own wealth — the only difference is that rich people share their wealth with those they know to be deserving, honest and hard-working individuals (for example, my father, a self-employed custom cabinet-maker for 15 years). Obama says he wants to give everyone opportunity, but he takes away the primary incentive for working hard and producing quality goods and services — the acquisition of wealth by gaining the favor of those who have it.

A Smiley Story

I was walking through the skyway in downtown Minneapolis today when I saw a cleaning lady sweeping up a bunch of ice cubes scattered on the floor. For some reason, my first thought was that an "abominable snowman" had vomited there, and the mental image was so funny that even though I tried, I couldn't stop a smile from sneaking onto my face. I was dressed for business and wasn't supposed to be smiling so blithely for an unknown reason, but while I fought with the smile, a young and beautiful stranger, also dressed for business, saw the conflict and smiled with me. Completely naturally.

I don't know who she was. Just thought I'd share. :)

Monday, October 06, 2008

Best Science Images of 2008

National Geographic has just published its Best Science Images of 2008. This particular image caught my eye -- it shows the way the Bible cross-references itself. As Carnegie Mellon's Chris Harrison said, "It almost looks like one monolithic volume."

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Palin a Closet Democrat?!

Rolling Stone Magazine presents "The Truth About Sarah Palin", presented (not surprisingly) without citations.

What Caused Our Economic Crisis? pt.2

Larry Lessig comments on the takedown of the video I linked to the other day. Via

A side note (for those who have seen the video) -- I have heard the Community Reinvestment Act mentioned as a leading cause of the the sub-prime lending crisis but definitely not the only cause, and probably not the root cause. I am still doing research on this, but the basic economic principles of supply and demand still apply, and ignorance of (or interference with) those principles is the root cause of nearly every economic crisis our country has experienced. Ironically, it is those very laws (i.e. Capitalism) that liberals attack as the cause of our problems. More on this as I do my research...

Sunday, September 28, 2008

US destroyer nears Somali pirates

According to an article in the BBC News, a US destroyer has made visual contact with a ship taken earlier last week by Somali pirates. The ship is laden with tanks bound for Kenya. A spokesterrorist for the pirates has declared that if attacked, they will defend themselves until the last one of them dies.

I'm thinking the Navy Seals might be the right people for this job.

Hurricane Hits Nova Scotia

Congratulations to the North Atlantic Canadian maritime province of Nova Scotia, which experienced a rare hurricane earlier today. Hurricane Kyle hit near Yarmouth, but no damage has been reported.

Pop quiz: read this article, and tell me how long Maine's first hurricane watch will last.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Worth Watching: What Caused Our Economic Crisis?

I've yet to do my homework on this, but it's food for thought.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

New 35W Bridge Opens to Traffic

The new 35W bridge opened to traffic at 5:00 am this morning, over 3 months ahead of schedule. (Video footage on CNN.) Local politicians applauded the effort and patted themselves on the back, as if it wasn't their fault the old one fell into the river last August. In true Minnesota fashion, the first traffic jam on the new span followed at 5:01.

The Truth About the Recession

Read this, before it's not true anymore.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Too Good Not to Post

Courtesy of dougsploitation and

People Will Be Late Today

Thousands of Verizon customers who use their cell phones as alarm clocks will be late for work today after a software update turned off their Samsung u430 phones in the middle of the night. The Samsung u340 is the latest free phone from Verizon, used by budget-conscious consumers everywhere.

Undoubtedly this will increase the volume of speeders and reckless drivers during the mid-morning commute as half-awake people rush to get to school and work, resulting in an abnormally high number of accidents and likely more than one fatality.

Hear that Verizon? FATALITIES!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Six Random Facts About Me

I have been tagged by My Mother.

1. Link to the person who tagged you
2. Post the rules on your blog
3. List 6 random facts about yourself
4. Tag 6 people at the end of your post
5. Let each person know they've been tagged by commenting on their blog
6. Let the tagger know the entry is posted on your blog

1. My name is James Austin Teal III. If you Google me, this blog is the second result, which is unfortunate.
2. I enjoy art, music and film, and I also enjoy making fun of art, music and film. So don't go see a bad movie with me because I will laugh in the wrong places.
3. I punctuate everything I write, and must spell everything correctly. I do this so well that people pay me to make sure they've done it correctly too. (Well, that's not all I do at work, but I am gaining notoriety as a copy-editor, even though is not in my official job description.)
4. The celebrity I most resemble is probably Hugh Grant, because I am generally affable but occasionally moody and sarcastic, witty, somewhat old-fashioned in many ways and a perennial befuddled bachelor. Also I like tennis.
5. I occasionally leave things unfinished for quite some time, like my website.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Guitar Hero for Christians

Guitar Praise is here! Pre-order your copy now! (Not available for consoles.)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Recession-Plagued Nation Demands New Bubble To Invest In

From The Onion:
WASHINGTON—A panel of top business leaders testified before Congress about the worsening recession Monday, demanding the government provide Americans with a new irresponsible and largely illusory economic bubble in which to invest.

"What America needs right now is not more talk and long-term strategy, but a concrete way to create more imaginary wealth in the very immediate future," said Thomas Jenkins, CFO of the Boston-area Jenkins Financial Group, a bubble-based investment firm. "We are in a crisis, and that crisis demands an unviable short-term solution."
the whole story

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Tornado Hits Farmington

Well, my friend Dan finally got the "Tornadeous Nimbus" clouds he always wanted. It wasn't too bad -- mostly downed trees, flattened corn fields and one overturned tractor-trailer. Too bad he didn't get to see it, but at least he had a couple of downed trees to cheer him up. I left work early on Thursday to help him clean up, but I didn't take any pictures (sorry). Instead, here are some unusually small news photos from the Farmington Independent.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Job News

I have been made a full-time employee at one of the places where I was freelancing for the past couple months. Sorry I'm not going to post where this place is, because in my experience, blogging about anything work-related, whether good or bad, is not a good idea. Suffice to say, I'm contracting on-site for a large discount retailer. This means I can de-bookmark Craigslist, and never ever go there again! (Woo-hoo!)

Monday, June 16, 2008

MNDOT strikes again!

What in the world is wrong with the Minnesota Department of Transportation? I have driven thousands of miles of Interstate and I have NEVER seen ANY interstate highway completely shut down for resurfacing. What normally happens is they close one lane, resurface it, open it back up, close the other lane, resurface that one, then open it up again. Thanks to them, I didn't get to church Sunday morning. I wasn't late -- I couldn't even get out of the city!

Let's see how many ways MNDOT has angered me since I moved here.
  1. Wavy roads. (I-90 westbound when you first enter the state.)
  2. Snow accumulation that doesn't get plowed for hours, if at all.
  3. Potholes big enough swallow up small cars. This could be one reason why Minnesota has more trucks than cars or vans.
  4. Bridges that randomly fall in the river. (Well, one so far.)
  5. Unmarked highway entrances.
  6. Randomly closed highway entrances.
  7. Poorly planned roads that spawn HUGE traffic jams, turning a 15-minute commute into an hour-long ordeal.
  8. Northbound highway entrances with no corresponding southbound entrance.
  9. Westbound highway entrances with no corresponding eastbound entrance.
  10. Abnormally narrow lanes.
All in all, it's the worst state I've ever driven in. It's almost as bad as driving in Canada.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

21 less-than-obvious ways to save the planet

There are many ways to save the planet. One recent planet-saving fad has been replacing traditional incandescent light bulbs with more energy-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs. But there are many far-less obvious and just as important planet-saving methods. Here are a few:
  1. Go to bed as soon as it gets dark out. It should save you a bundle on electricity.
  2. Use the stairs instead of the elevator. It's good exercise! 30 floors isn't that much! It takes a lot of energy to move that box up and down. Of course, you can always elevator-pool to save energy.
  3. Drink tap water instead of bottled. It takes a lot of CO2 to get that stuff from Fiji!
  4. Walk or bike to work! It's not THAT far.
  5. Replace your electric guitar with an acoustic one. The less you have to plug in the better.
  6. Read a book instead of watching TV. It must not be a new book, however. Those require trees to be cut down.
  7. Hum instead of listening to the radio. If you really need to hear music, walk to the grocery store. They usually have music playing there.
  8. Get your pizza delivered instead of picking it up. The delivery guy is going out anyway. You might as well save the fuel in your own vehicle.
  9. Move to a warm climate. You'll save money by having no heating bills in the winter. (Air conditioning is for wusses).
  10. Shorten your commute by moving closer to where you work. Bonus if you can work from home, or live in the same building as where you work.
  11. Skip a meal a few times a week. Calories are energy too!
  12. Send an email instead of writing a letter. (Use someone else's computer so you don't have to turn yours on.)
  13. Watch church on TV instead of driving to one. You don't talk to anyone anyways, so why not? Bonus if you can watch it on someone else's TV. Radio is acceptable too.
  14. Sleep as often as you can. You won't be needing the lights or appliances, and you can save on food by sleeping through mealtimes!
  15. Grow a garden! Build a rainwater collector to irrigate it, so you don't have to use tap water. Freeze what you can't eat so there is no waste.
  16. Eat whatever you can raw. That way you save the electricity you'd normally use cooking your food. If you need to cook something, find some dead leaves and twigs in your yard and burn them to cook your food.
  17. Replace your electric alarm clock with a mechanical alarm clock, if you can still find one.
  18. Live in a city. Cities consume less energy per person than small towns. Plus, they often have public transportation, which is a great way to meet people.
  19. Don't be poor. Poor people often can't afford to adopt planet-saving habits. Remember, saving money is not the same as saving the planet! Saving the planet requires all of us to make financial sacrifices. You can't make financial sacrifices if you are poor.
  20. Don't own any unnecessary animals, like chameleons, monkeys or cats. Dogs are okay only if they help you catch food so you don't have to drive to the store.
  21. Die. Dying saves the planet by eliminating the CO2 emitted providing you with sustenance as well as preventing any further CO2 emission via respiration. Additionally, you restore vital nutrients to the soil. Bonus for dying before you get the chance to reproduce.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Sunset on Mars

Very cool. And not from BBC News.

UPDATE: High-res version here (like for computer desktop backgrounds)

Brigitte Bardot no longer that hot

Apparently Brigitte Bardot has been fined for "for inciting racial hatred". According to BBC News, "She was prosecuted over a letter published on her website that complained Muslims were 'destroying our country by imposing their ways'." My, my! What would Charles Martel say? Well I have to defend her because a mistrust of foreigners is typically part of a nationalistic attitude in almost any nation. (It just happens to be illegal in France.) I don't think it "incites hatred".

Here in America, it is not illegal to say such things, but Muslims certainly do not "impose their ways" here in St. Paul; they just wear Islamic clothes, speak Islamic languages, eat Islamic foods and publish Islamic newspapers. The history of America is full of immigrants who came here and were vilified by the resident population. Italians, Irish, Germans, Chinese -- all have become an inextricable part of American culture. But it is perfectly natural to want to protect the culture you know, even if that means excluding others. It's not hatred, it's just opinion.

Obama / Hillary '08

Apparently Ms. Clinton is "open" to being Obama's VP candidate. It may be a handy way for Obama to clinch the November election, but if I were him I think I'd get some extra security guards. And not sit next to the VP while eating. And hide behind her during public appearances.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Isolated tribe spotted in Brazil

A previously undiscovered tribe of native Americans has been discovered in the Amazon rainforest. Looks like they're pretty "primitive". They even tried to kill with bows and arrows the airplane that took pictures of them, which I think is pretty gangsta. Do we have any volunteers to catch them up on the last 6,000 years of human history? You must be disease-free and have really good people skills. Here's the story. Here's some pictures.

Monday, May 19, 2008

News Flash for Hugo Chavez!

We do whatever we want, and there's not much you can can do about it. Sorry if that causes you to lose a little sleep at night. Should have thought about that before you decided to become our enemy.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Disturbing News

Wildlife populations 'plummeting'
This means that all the articles I read in the 90's about such-and-such a species "making a comeback" are lies, and Conservationism is a lost cause. That or this article is pure propaganda. Oh wait, look at that chart at the bottom!

Obese blamed for the world's ills
Draw your own conclusion from this one.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Minnesota Public Radio Turns Conservative?

Well, not really. It's just they're so busy opposing Republican policy that they haven't noticed it shifting to the left.
Youtube Video

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Top Gear Takes on the U.S.

Is it real, or is it hyperbole? You be the judge.

Part I.

Part II.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Tata buys Jaguar

An Indian corporation buys a British brand. My, how the tables have turned.
(You know, because India was a British colony and they used to export a lot of stuff from India to Great Britain and now it's like "India is buying British companies" but actually Ford owns Jaguar and it's not really built in the UK anymore so it's not really a British company, it's a British brand. Yeah, I just thought it was interesting.)

Monday, March 17, 2008

Font Watch!

It looks like one of the fonts I discovered almost two years ago has finally made it big. Perhaps I have a knack for discovering great fonts. Maybe I'll make it a feature on my new design blog (open soon).

Santana Shreds

Some guy overdubs a Santana concert video with awful guitar. If you don't understand why this is funny, you are truly missing out. It's the funniest thing I've seen in a long time.
Youtube Video

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Hey, Fellow Designers!

Stop working 50-60 hours a week and give some of your work to me. I don't want to starve just so you can take home a little extra every week. It's not fair. Let's take care of each other!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Tytler Cycle

"A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship."

"The average age of the world's greatest civilizations from the beginning of history has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence:

• From bondage to spiritual faith;
• From spiritual faith to great courage;
• From courage to liberty;
• From liberty to abundance;
• From abundance to complacency;
• From complacency to apathy;
• From apathy to dependence;
• From dependence back into bondage."

I can't confirm who this quote/quotes are from, but I've seen them together before, and I think it's absolutely true. What do you think? Where are we in this cycle?

Vote for Obama!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Wanted: Cheap Flash Designer

I find postings like this somewhat hilarious. A Flash developer for $10/hr? Sure, in India maybe. Ha ha ha ha ha!!

Sub-Prime Mortgage Crisis, Explained

This is actually quite accurate, and is exactly why the government shouldn't bail out the economy every time a recession threatens. Let the sowers reap, and everyone will be a little smarter.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

My Next Car

If everything goes well, I might get one of these in the fall.

Me, Explained

This is almost exactly what I'm like when nobody is around.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Barbershoppe Illusionne Part Deux

Using your headphones again, challenge yourself by completing a series of tests for the Swedish Armed Forces.

Eagan Hills Church

I found out tonight when I went to a dessert social at our pastor's house that our church's sermons are "podcasted". I thought some of my family and friends might like to hear a little sample of what Pastor Bruce Konold's sermons are like, so I've posted a few links to some recent messages on the book of Acts. Pastor Bruce is an intelligent, articulate and scholarly man who is devoted to teaching the whole Word of God. Much like my former pastor at Calvary Chapel of Webster, his sermons are chapter by chapter, verse by verse. I have very much enjoyed (to the extent that you "enjoy" sermons) his exposition of the story of Stephen, the first martyr. I think they represent a good example of his preaching style. Here are the mp3's of the series:

Stephen, First Martyr for Christ
Part 1: Stephen's Character Midst Opposition, Acts 6:8-15
Part 2: Stephen's Defense Before the Sanhedrin, Acts 7:1-53
Part 3: Stephen's Death, Acts 7:54-60

More sermons are posted here.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Stuff White Democrats Like

Actually the title of the blog is "Stuff White People Like", but it's really talking about white Democrats. A few of these apply to me though.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

I'm Comic Sans!

Don't worry, it just means I don't take myself too seriously. Any number of fonts could suit my personality.
Typecast Yourself!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Good, Better, Best in Minneapolis

Since I've been in the Twin-Cities looking for a job for a while, I've gotten to know a little about the local design industry. Design is thriving here! (which may be why it's been difficult to find a job, with so much great competition). Here's a few of my findings.

These guys do above-average work for some of the bigger names in town.
   Compass Design
   Berg Design Company
   ImageWerks Marketing
   Linnihan Foy Advertising
   StoneArch Creative

These firms have a more engaging design style that seems to indicate some better talent and perhaps some better clients.
   Plaudit Design
   Design Center Inc.
   Grossman Design Associates

The top firms in Minneapolis are the designer's designers. Their talent is superb and their work is mesmerizing. They service the biggest names in town and many other successful companies from around the world. It's very difficult to get into these places without a pedigree (meaning a degree from a top design school or at least an excellent portfolio and references).
   Charles S. Anderson
   Duffy & Partners

Granted, some of this is conjecture -- I don't really know too much about these companies, but this is the impression I get based on what I've seen and read. You might like one of my lower-ranked firm's style better than one of the higher. It all depends on your taste. If I had my choice of where to find employment, I'd aim right for the middle.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Disturbing News

Lone Conservative Republican candidate Mitt Romney drops out of presidential race, presumably because he's afraid of going against Hillary.

The Archbishop of Canterbury believes Sharia law will emerge in the UK.

Lawrence Welk stars sing a song about pot.

Oh yeah, the Cold War is making a comeback.

Divide & Conquer?

It occurred to me today that this year's Republican candidates each appeal to a completely different and equally important segment of the Republican party. To those in the military, the obvious choice is McCain, a Vietnam war hero. To the religious right, the obvious choice is Huckabee, a former Baptist minister who wears his Christianity on his sleeve. To conservatives, the only choice is Mitt Romney, whose economic policies are the least likely to lead this country deeper into debt and economic recession. It's got me wondering who the good guy is, or if this division is somehow intentional.

It is comforting to know however, that the Democratic party is also divided on their choice of candidates.

And one thing is certain, more people are paying attention to this race than any other presidential race in recent history. Primaries and caucuses had record attendances on Tuesday. And my best friend just became a Republican delegate.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Interview Questions

I had an actual job interview today in downtown Minneapolis. It was my first real on-site job interview, made more exciting by the fact that it was in the big city on the upper floors of a pretty tall skyscraper. One of the questions they asked me was "What are your strengths and weaknesses?" I was expecting the question, but I admit I wasn't sure how to answer. If you know me, what do you think my strengths and weaknesses are? How should one answer this question?

Thursday, January 17, 2008

A Celebration of Darkness

Nope, it's not Halloween. Today is a post about the wonderful light-absorbing material recently made by researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. It is three times darker than the previous standard for black. Made of carbon nanotubes, it absorbs 99.9% of all light. Unfortunately for Matrix fans, it is probably too expensive to make a trench coat out of.

BBC News

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Global Warming Strikes Again!

In case you didn't know, all unusual meteorological phenomena is now being attributed to global warming. This means "unseasonable" or "unusual" heat, cold, rainfall, drought, wind, hail, snow, flies, locusts, frogs, or any other element we usually associate with "weather". Presumably it also includes this example of snow in Baghdad, although oddly enough, global warming is never mentioned in the article.

Friday, January 11, 2008


CSS is to web designers what 9/11 is to Rudy Giuliani -- it's like the answer to everything. In actuality though, it's turning out to be a huge pain.

Okay so here's my issue. I'm working on a web design project, the first one I've done since college. I downloaded a trial version of DreamWeaver CS3 which is working AWESOMELY -- I like it SO much better than my lousy MX 2002 student version. Only one thing isn't working that well -- my links aren't behaving right. And I can't fix them. Well i can, but it's needlessly complicated.

See my blog? how there are different links and they're all different colors and when you put your mouse over them they turn into other different colors, and sometimes when you click on them they change colors again? All that is accomplished with CSS (short for Cascading Style Sheets).

Styles are great things for print designers like me. Basically they work by formatting large blocks of text all at once. Say you're designing a newsletter or something, and you want all your headlines, subheads, body copy, and captions to have the same look. What you do is set up some styles, you know:

Headlines, subheads, body copy, captions

So once you have your styles set up, to apply a style you just select your text, select your style, and click "Apply Style". At least that's how it works in a page layout program. In DreamWeaver it works basically the same way -- very user friendly, only instead of clicking "Apply Style" you select your "Class" (a CSS style that can be applied to multiple objects) from a drop-down menu.

Now the awesome thing about HTML is it's hyper-text. That means you can link to other pages or objects on the Internet from the page you are writing. Back in the day, all links were the same color: blue. And all visited links were the same color: purple. Google still follows this convention.

But not everybody can use default colors. What if all the text on your website was blue? The links wouldn't stand out very well. It would be great if you could make your links, say, orange or something. The "link", "alink", and "vlink" attributes were invented to make this possible. Placed in the <body> tag, they change the colors of links, active links, and visited links, respectively throughout the whole page.

But what if you don't want all the links on your page to be the same color? What if you want the links on the blue background to be light blue, and the links on the white background to be brown? CSS makes that possible.

But how?

I don't know how. That's my problem. I want all the links in the body copy to have the same link color, all the text in the sidebar to have a different link color, and all the text in the footer to have another color. You'd think you'd be able to define your link colors when you define your style, since in the mind of the designer the two are inextricably linked, but you can't. Your style is a "class", and the link behavior is a "pseudo-class". The two are apparently only loosely connected, if at all. What I need to figure out is how to link the two together.

(A side note, using the <font> tag only solves the problem in IE, not in Firefox and DEFINITELY not in Safari.)

What do I do?

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Indian Sports Car

Meet the Tata Indica V2 Turbo, a sport compact from India with a whopping 70 hp! Now with anti-lock brakes and airbags! Speed meets safety!

So what if it seems underpowered? I guess it's kind of appropriate for a country with no traffic lights.

What am I doing up at 3:30 am? Why, installing a trial version of DreamWeaver CS3, of course!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Quiz: Famous or Unknown Artist?

Try this quiz to test your expert art-critiquing eye. Which paintings are by famous artists, and which are not?

Sorry, you won't be able to beat my score of 100% -- the same score I got on my Art History final in college. :-)

Courtesy of Coudal Partners blended feed.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

13 Things I Did in 2007 for the First Time

2007 was chock-full of new experiences, but I haven't counted them all yet. I'm sure there was at least 13. Let's see....

1. Early in the year, I drove a hundred miles an hour for the first time.
2. Then, I learned how to downhill ski. (A tip for those who are thinking of doing this -- learning to turn is more important than learning to stop.) Thanks, Emily.
3. Then in the spring, I went rock-climbing. Thanks, Emily.
4. In July, for the first time, my employment was terminated by my employer (unless you count the paper route). Getting laid off led to even more new experiences!
5. I bought an iMac to build my portfolio and just in case I had to freelance for a while. Yes, it was my first Mac.
6. Later in July, I visited my grandma who lives deep in Canadian country -- Halifax, Nova Scotia.
7. I saw a moose on the way there.
8. Also on the way there, we witnessed a robbery. (They took off in a white Kia Amanti.)
9. And I called the police. (Actually, I called the police about a drunk driver -- not the robbery. Someone else talked to the police about the robbery.)
10. I went wading in the North Atlantic. (A tip for those who are thinking of doing this -- keep moving or you will freeze!)
11. In August, I drove myself all the way to Minnesota!
12. I decided to try living there for a while.
13. I traded my sporty Acura RSX for a used pick-up truck.
14. I had to learn how to drive a manual transmission.
15. In October, I went up to the North Woods on a scouting trip.
16. I shot clay pigeons with a 12-gauge.
17. I drank a whole beer -- but not on the scouting trip. (A tip for those who are thinking of doing this -- your body can metabolize approximately one beer every hour. Remember this and you can stay quite sober.)
18. I had a job interview. Yes, it was my first job interview, a phone interview with a guy in Texas.
19. I got a temp job to make some money. Woo-hoo! Ten bucks an hour!
20. I moved into an apartment to get rid of some of that extra money I had lying around. Woo-hoo! My own place!
21. I went to a Halloween party. Yes, it was my first Halloween party.
22. Finally, when I went home for Christmas, I saw my first nephew for the first time.

I think that covers most of it. 2008 is sure to be another exciting year. Why, just the other day I saw a Harry Potter movie for the first time. I still have a lot to learn and do this year. Maybe this will be the year I get engaged, or even get a girlfriend! Maybe I will join a rock band, or move to the big city! Maybe I'll get in a car accident, or a plane crash! Maybe I'll come up with a great idea that will make enough money for me to be set for life! Maybe I'll develop some real ambition and discipline! Yes, it's sure to be another exciting year.